Before the NHL paused the 2019-20 NHL season, they announced that on February 20th 2021, the Carolina Hurricanes are going to host the 2021 NHL Stadium Series at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh. Here are the three teams that could play against the Carolina Hurricanes of the 2021 NHL Stadium Series.
The first team that came to mind is the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa Bay is a top five team in the league. I think it would be a fantastic game with two teams that are in playoff contention. Both of the teams have a stacked forward group and most of their defense are among the best in the NHL. Also, for a fun fact, the Tampa Bay Lightning have never been to an outdoor game in their franchise history. It would also be an interesting game because Tampa Bay and Carolina have never played an outdoor game in their franchise history.
The second team is the New York Islanders. Yes, they played each other in the playoffs in 2019 of the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Hurricanes swept the Islanders. To compare the Islanders and the Hurricanes; both of them have veteran goal tending experience, both of them have a fantastic defense corps and most of the players are young below 25 years of age. Also, the New York Islanders have played three outdoor games before in 2014.
The third team is going to be obvious, it's the Washington Capitals. Both of them are building to be one of the best rivalries in the NHL. Also, they played against each other in the 2019 playoffs and everyone in the hockey world enjoyed that series and I think with that excitement in the playoffs, the NHL could take it to the next level by having them play in a outdoor game. How did this all started? In Game three of the 2019 playoffs Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin fought and knocked out Hurricanes rookie Andrei Svechnikov. In Game 4 of the playoffs, Hurricanes rookie Warren Foegele injured T.J. Oshie and ended Oshie's season. Every game in Raleigh saw Capitals fans take over PNC Arena which is the home arena of the Carolina Hurricanes. What could be interesting is a remake of the 2020 Winter Classic where fans were split. I could see a situation where half the fans root for the Caps and the other half root for the home team Hurricanes. Let the bad blood begin!
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